Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Bendtner expects to start - Diaby not feeling the heat - Wilshere "buzzing"


Morning Gooners.

Arsenal announced yesterday afternoon that Jack Wilshere had agreed and signed a new long term contract with the club.

It's great that with just four weeks of negotiations the young Englishman has put pen to paper and committed himself to Arsenal.

In a world where players aren't loyal and are only out for the money, Jack's attitude is excellent.

Watching the interview on Arsenal TV Online, he seems such a mature young man for an 18-year-old.

I'm excited of what more there is to come from him. He's proved a lot of people wrong with his involvement in the first team this season.

Many people, and I include myself on this view, thought he would spend the early part of the season coming on as a substitute and build throughout the season on those experiences.

But he's broken straight into the team, playing a major part in our good start to the season. Wilshere said last night on twitter he was "buzzing" after signing his contract.

The midfielder added:
"At this point in my career, when I'm only 18 years old and still learning so much about the game and myself, this is the perfect club, the perfect team-mates, the perfect fans, the perfect backroom staff and most importantly, the perfect manager to help continue that.
"I've got a long way to go before I can become the player I dream of becoming and I'm sure I'll keep making the odd mistake, but it is a massive help for me having a special manager like Arsène Wenger and so many quality team-mates and the unbelievable Arsenal fans around me. I believe there is a lot more to come from me."
In years to come we have some excellent prospects coming through. Wilshere of course, Aaron Ramsey (back in training on Friday), Emmanuel Frimpong and that's just in midfield.

One player who has yet to sign a contract extension is Wojciech Szczesny and according to press reports in his native Poland, the young goalkeeper has no plans to do so in the near future.

Szczesny is keen to concentrate on his football rather than any off the field issues.

Szczesny told Polish website Przeglad Sportowy:
"There was some offers, but I am not interested right now. It's not that I don't want to extend the contract, I just don't want to hold talks at this point. I have enough money to live and I can't complain about that, but I will only be happy if I play.
"Everything depends on how many games I play. I admit that I want to play at Arsenal as long as they want me. If I can earn my place in goal I won't even consider any other offers."
This causes some concern. But also I'm relaxed by it. First my concern is that this situation will role on until the end of the season when he'll leave Arsenal, for just a compensation payment.

He obviously wants some guarentees about his position within the squad and you can understand that. But as a 20-year-old with just two league cup appearances for the club to his name, I think all he can expect from this season is games in the cups.

I believe even when Manuel Almunia recovers from his elbow injury, Szczesny will remain as our second choice keeper, until Christmas at least.

Wenger will play him in the Carling Cup against Wigan and the remaining Champions League games with Partizan Belgrade and Braga.

Hopefully this will be enough to satisfy him that he's making progress at the club and swing him in the direction of signing a new deal. I don't think money is an issue, after all Arsenal do pay their young players very hansomly. So if he gets the playing time he thinks shows he's making development towards the first team, I think he'll sign.

But we'll just have to wait and see how the manager handles this one.

The squad will prepare for their trip to the Ukraine this morning with a final training session after which Arsene Wenger will speak with the media at lunchtime prior to their flight from London Stansted this afternoon.

The early team news remains the same as the information I brought you yesterday. Cesc Fabregas is a doubt with a tight hamstring whilst Alex Song may also not travel with a shin injury.

One man expecting to play is Nicklas Bendtner. The young Dane could spearhead our attack tomorrow night and give Marouane Chamakh a well earned rest.

Bendtner said:
"There will always be injuries and different things, but I think that if I play to my best, I should be in the starting line-up.
"One must remember that there are so many matches and rotations that you can not look at one team and say: 'here is the real starting line-up.'
"In the big clubs like Chelsea and Manchester United there is also high rotation among many players, but I want to start in most of the clashes."
Which is where Bendtner needs to show his consistency to prove to Arsene Wenger he has what it takes to perform at the highest level for the club. It will be interesting to see the pecking order once everyone is fit.

One player fighting his way back from injury to be in contention for the Champions League game is Abou Diaby.

The Frenchman speaking with Onze Mondial magazine was asked if the players were pressurised by the fans to win things.

Diaby said:
"That's maybe what we are missing. The supporters of the club don't put us under enormous pressure.
"Maybe this could be explained by the fact our record isn't catastrophic. Sure, we haven't won a trophy since 2005, but we're always in the top three and because of this the club is in the Champions League every season.
"We've always done well, we reached the final in 2006 and we're regularly in the quarter finals. So there is still a consistency to our performances. But it's imperative that we are able to take the next step to finally win trophies."
Perhaps as fans we don't put too much pressure on the players but I think we all want them to deliver silverware at the end of the season.

There are always the Grove Groans at every game. Where moans and groans can be heard after every miss placed pass. Perhaps not the same pressure Diaby is talking about, but I think it is there.

Premier League players live such a cocooned lifestyle. They don't realise what it's like day to day out there for normal folk. But as Arsene Wenger said at the AGM, every one he meets gives him advice. 

So if Diaby wants a baying mob outside his home in balaclavas I'm sure that can be arranged. But I think most Arsenal fans can see what Arsene Wenger is trying to achieve and letting him get on with it.

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